Send to

Choose Destination
Tissue Eng Part A. 2009 Oct;15(10):3119-28. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2008.0478.

Chondroitinase ABC treatment results in greater tensile properties of self-assembled tissue-engineered articular cartilage.

Author information

Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.


Collagen content and tensile properties of engineered articular cartilage have remained inferior to glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content and compressive properties. Based on a cartilage explant study showing greater tensile properties after chondroitinase ABC (C-ABC) treatment, C-ABC as a strategy for cartilage tissue engineering was investigated. A scaffold-less approach was employed, wherein chondrocytes were seeded into non-adherent agarose molds. C-ABC was used to deplete GAG from constructs 2 weeks after initiating culture, followed by 2 weeks culture post-treatment. Staining for GAG and type I, II, and VI collagen and transmission electron microscopy were performed. Additionally, quantitative total collagen, type I and II collagen, and sulfated GAG content were measured, and compressive and tensile mechanical properties were evaluated. At 4 wks, C-ABC treated construct ultimate tensile strength and tensile modulus increased 121% and 80% compared to untreated controls, reaching 0.5 and 1.3 MPa, respectively. These increases were accompanied by increased type II collagen concentration, without type I collagen. As GAG returned, compressive stiffness of C-ABC treated constructs recovered to be greater than 2 wk controls. C-ABC represents a novel method for engineering functional articular cartilage by departing from conventional anabolic approaches. These results may be applicable to other GAG-producing tissues functioning in a tensile capacity, such as the musculoskeletal fibrocartilages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center